Skip to main content

tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  October 5, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EDT

11:30 pm
a separate researcher, you-you tu won as well. >> they'll share a $60,000 prize. i'm antonio mora, thank you for joining us. luis suarez is up next with "inside story". have a good night. illegal, right? so what do you do? don't bet on the games. bet on game derived performances. in games that don't really happen. it started out as a way for fans to be their own general managers. drafting, trading, seeing how it all works out for fun. fantasy sports are now a multi-billion dollars business, and it's all legal. you want to bet? it's the inside story. ♪
11:31 pm
>> welcome to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. what started out as a sub culture is now a huge business. assemble a team from real professional players. the real player's actual performances on the field, the court, the ice are converted into points and you win or lose against other players who have done the same and are hoping the teams they put together on paper beat yours. hobbyists, watched pro performs, and up and coming college players, and then there are league tables, standards, and commissioners keeping it cranking along. but the intimate has accelerated the growth of fantasy sports allowing you to play against people you don't know, and now you can risk and win money, and websites assure you it's all legal. john henry smith takes a closer look.
11:32 pm
[ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: old school sports fandom, follow your team. new sports fandom, follow your fantasy league. rick runs a season that runs as long as the real season. >> yes, i'm a jets fan. but to also make some money along the way makes that that much more exciting. >> reporter: the winner of rick's league takes home hundreds of dollars. but for those of you who don't want to wait that long to win, there's a new way to play. if you have watched any major sports programming this year, you have no doubt seen these ads.
11:33 pm
fan duals, are paying $75 million a week with a immediate cash payout. >> reporter: daily fantasy leagues offer the chance to win week. >> i have won to date so far, profit, almost $5,000. >> reporter: they offer their ability to play for high stakes with a cost to pay that could be as low as a single dollar, sometimes even less. and that's made for an army of converts and made powerhouses out of the industry's two biggest competitors. draft kings and fan duel are now valued at more than a billion dollars each, thanks to partnerships with heavy hitters who want a piece of the action. they are spending a lot of that capital to get you to play their game. according to i-spot-tv.
11:34 pm
fan duel and draft king consistently rank the highest in the u.s. >> they are both won $375 million. and they are battling it out. >> they brought in a combined $60 million in entry fees. twice as much as football betting the old fashioned way brought into las vegas during the same time period. in fact many argue that playing daily fantasy sports is just gambling, the new-fashioned way. mark is a law professor in new york. >> is it gambling? absolutely. but is it illegal? >> reporter: the answer is no. playing daily fantasy sports online for money is legal, right now for one reason. when the federal law passed in 2006, lobbying from the major pro sports leagues resulted in
11:35 pm
lawmakers granting fantasy out. >> for the carve out to apply, first it has to be a contest based on the relative skill of the players, secondly the prizes have to be predetermined and it has to be based on the results of multiple real world players. >> reporter: the skill angle is one the industry points to repeatedly as the reason why the government shouldn't lump it in with the likes of on-line poker. representative frank of new jersey has called for an investigation, he says to him, daily fantasy sports clearly gam gambling. >> how is it any different? >> reporter: washington state senator has tried to keep her state one of five in the country where playing daily fantasy sports online is illegal.
11:36 pm
>> having an online gaming gambling. >> since this market was developing, even as some companies like fan duel were making money, i don't think congressmen were paying that muched a tense. and now it has lead to a lot of people looking up and saying what is going on here. >> reporter: concerns of legality barely register with ricky anthony. or the other players. they are too busy playing. >> sunday is the most, because i'm a football phone. i'm constantly on the phone with fan duel, watching the television, so it's a 10-hour day for me. >> reporter: john henry smith, al jazeera. >> joining us for a look at this new frontier, is drew who won a million dollars playing fantasy football. welcome to the program.
11:37 pm
as we mentioned in the report, 75 million people play. for the other 250 million of us. let's start with basics. what do you do at the beginning of the season? how do you start a team? >> yeah, so the difference between daily and season-long fantasy football, at the beginning of the season you have a draft and it's the same nine or ten other people that you are competing with, and you each pick your players and that's your team for the season. you can manage your team. you can put players in, but the guys you draft are generally the guys you are going to use for the entire season. the difference with daily fantasy sports basically every week is a new season. and instead of those assets being unique players that only you can draft, you are drafting within a salary cap, so the people you are competing against
11:38 pm
can use the same players as well as long as you stay under a callty cap. >> well, now that you have done it and done it well, what is your judgment? is there a certain amount of chance to it? or is it a game of skill? >> it is certainly a game of skill. the more players play they tend to get better, and they make better scores and choices. in the game of skill angle has been carved out within the lawmakers parameters, and it's certainly a game of skill. i think you see a lot of winning players near the top of leader boards over and over again. >> is it gamble? >> i think gambling is a hot-button word for a lot of people. and i think if you use the word investing, it changes the perception for a lot of people. i view it similarly to investing. i'm cutting capital certainly at risk. i'm not always going to get a
11:39 pm
return on that capital, but i'm investing it with the expectation that over time i will be able to generate a return through my skill. so i view it as investing. and i think some people get hung up on the word of gambling . >> since you came from the world of finance first to fantasy football, is there a lot of overlap between the way you see the world and the way you work in those two arenas? >> certainly. there is a lot of similarity. each week i'm sitting there trying to assess the true value of a player, what i expect that player's value to be worth. so if draft king is saying a player is worth $6,000 or 12% of the budget, i have to decide if that player is worth more or less than that number. and that's what a lot of investment people are doing when they are making decisions on
11:40 pm
stocks. they are trying to understand are they paying a price below or above the market expectation. so i think there are a lot of similarities between the two. >> drew stand by, we're going to pick this up in a moment. one of the most fascinating aspects of fantasy leagues is their relationship to real leagues. how have the leagues treated the rise of fantasy sports. fantasy sports, want a bet? it's the inside story. ♪ >> every saturday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. no topic off limits.
11:41 pm
>> 'cause i'm like, "dad, there are hookers in this house". >> exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> these are very vivid, human stories. >> if you have an agenda with people, you sometimes don't see the truth. >> "talk to al jazeera". saturday, 6:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
11:42 pm
>> al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. at 7:00, a thorough wrap-up of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective. weeknights, on al jazeera america. this is "inside story", i'm ray suarez. this time on the programme, if you bet on the atlanta fall cons beating the houston texas on the weekends, you won a little
11:43 pm
money. unless you did it through a few narrow channels for sports betting, you probably from breaking the law. if you had devanteda on your team, you -- devante on your team, you probably had a good day. he ran for 86 yards. and had touch downs. if your fantasy team won and paid off, it is legal. league and owners had a different relationship to betting. they make sure they get their share from the revenue. teams take the risks, draft and cultivate the players, play the games that drive bigger sports league. for now, they mostly don't see a penny. i'm back with drew, and joining us from boston is christine riley, the senior research director from the national center for responsible game of course, and christine, if you think about it, between lotteries and various kind of
11:44 pm
online games, and the multiplication from around the country, they can play games of chance. the opportunity seemed to be ubiquitous compared to a generation or two ago. is that fair. >> yes, yes. over the past 40 years there has been an expansion of illegal gambling, the ray for disordered gambling is relatively stable. so it's the assumption of the scientific community that the exposure has not made much difference in the rate, it's 1% of the population in the u.s. >> what is disorder gambling, what crosses the threshold? >> there's many criteria, a lot
11:45 pm
sound like drug and alcohol abuse. bsh the person may try to stop. and then get in trouble with work or family for trying to hide their debts. and try to recoup their losses, to try to make up for the losses. overall, it's like addiction, it's continuing to do something, in spite of adverse consequences. >> before the break, you heard drew conspiring what makes fantasy league play skill rather than chance. drafting, past performance, future performance, making picks on that basis. is it a worthwhile distinction, an important distinction legally and in your part of the conversation - whether it is strictly a game of chance or a game of skill? >> well scientists are
11:46 pm
interested this that. remember, that that includes poker, it includes horse race betting and many other games which probably involve some form of still or research. we don't really have a sense. it seems to us people can get into trouble with all kinds of gambling. people get into trouble with lottery tickets or bingo, things that may seem harmless. the thinking in the scientific community is that things are not addictive. you have to look at addiction as a relationship as a vulnerable person and the object of addiction. any activity could be troublesome because of other psychiatric problems pore bad life experience. >> drew, you know a lot about this world. if someone is - sees the adds,
11:47 pm
is entertained by them. because it seems like they come during every commercial break, and say okay, i'd like to try this. are there controls built in? are there firewalls built in, so you can't get in over your head, and people who frankly we don't want gambling can't get involved? >> yes. so the site operators do have some controls in place in terms of how much you can deposit. how frequently you can government and things like that. the important thing for anyone trying the game out, is to view it as an entertainment opportunity. most of the people, because these are a game of skill, and not everyone playing them will have the elite skill, most are doing it for entertainment pu s purposes. and as cooest een alluded -- christine alluded to, there's risks playing daily fantasies, just like there's risks with
11:48 pm
starting your own business and lots of areas that you could see if your goal is to turn a profit. for a lot of people that are playing, the goal should be entertainment focused and making a point. i would rather spend 20 hours of draft kings than go to a movie because i get 10 hours of watching football we'll bike this up. professional leagues, gamblers and gambling stems in part from a fear ta it could corrupt opposition. fantasy league ruts are based not on games, but individual performances, does it relief the pressure, remove the fear of corruption, is it a matter of time before fantasy sports leagues spurred by the digital age find themselves in direct competition with the sports leagues themselves? want a bet - it's "inside story".
11:49 pm
11:50 pm
11:51 pm
welcome back to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. fantasy sport, as it grows and increases influence, businesses jump in to monetise the fund. it's not just the nerdy thrill of putting together a team, the possibility of risking and making money attracts new players to the draft. will fantasy leagues add to the growing availability of legal chance, encouraging people to turn over time and the expense of other things. jobs, family, other responsibilities, i'm back with drew and christine, you heard drew talk about the protections built into the websites, are they sufficient? >> yes, i think that it is instructive to look at the online gaming site out of
11:52 pm
europe, for example. harvard medical school did a study. they found that they didn't find a high rate of problems. among the survivors, they did find that. they did find the ability to limit wages. >> we could look to that. of course, that study did not include u.s. audience, and, therefore, might not be generalised. i think it's worth looking at. >> is there a certain amount of self-identification that goes on, and they ask you questions. it's up to you to answer them honestly. before you can pass various thresholds. we have to conclude that no high school boys are watching internet important or playing poker online if we thought the
11:53 pm
thresholds were enough. >> yes, i think it's tricky, i don't think there any guarantee. i think it's important to give people the ability to be informed about what is available, and to make a decision ahead of time. i think that it's also important to look at what the average wages are. i don't know, because we don't have studies of fantasy sports in the u.s. online studies indicate a low rate of wagering which leads us to believe that that is probably why there aren't many problems in that particular market. >> drew, one thing that is fascinating for me is watching how comfortable the big sports leagues in north america have become with the idea of this world existing based on intellectual property that they create. it's like trading derivatives.
11:54 pm
the n.b.a., and major league baseball and the n.f.l. not only encourage it, but they have sights on their own website na give the points, help you figure out who to draft and so on. they are completely comfortable with this. >> yes, the leagues get a lot of benefit. there's a lot of engagement going along with fantasy sports. there's times you'll get a random thursday night game with the jaguars and tennessee tigers, maybe the fan team is not as strong. fantasy players are watching, they have players, and the leagues enjoy it. some of the other tertiary sports that are not as popular, they'll see growth in those aspects in terms. viewership and audience because people are invested emotionally.
11:55 pm
it's a radioactive charge on gambling, for a lot of people in the sports leagues, they are wary about how to approach people who put money on the line. why is this different. is there a danger if you are not careful? >> i think the difference is drawn by the lawmakers and, you know, that's the distinction between fantasy sports and gambling, and the leagues are trying to toe the line. the general interest for the league in terms of engagement is covered on both ends. it helps to generate engagement. the main concern is throwing games and different things like that. >> it is reduced by fantasy sports where individual layers are lected. >> is there research that should be done, that needs to be done to keep an eye on the world because it's growing so fast. >> yes, i think it would be
11:56 pm
helpful to do more studies. it's an age at higher risk. it's a lot easier to recruit subjects for those studies, i'm hoping that we get studies that are representative of the nation, of the college student nationwide drew drinkmire join us us. specialist turned fantasy sports player, and christine riley, from the national center of the responsible gaming. thanks for joining us i'll be back in a moment for the final thought on the gaming and the games itself. stay with us, and send us your thoughts on twitter, or follow me and get in touch, we'd love to hear what you have to say.
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
♪ throughout the history of sports in america, the money has throughout the history of sports in america, the money has gotten bigger and bigger. cheating has been a danger, a threat. a boxer taking a dive, a jockey holding back a horse, a pitcher played to throw a game. a basketball player told to win, but not beat the spread. the governing authorities of various games tried to watch, control, rain in the apparently human tendency to want to win so bad you cheat to do it. it's hard to see how fantasy sports warm their way into the game, affect and infect performers and performances. because you make your own teams
11:59 pm
and don't bet on games from real teams, the affect that any one quarterback, point guard or slugging center fielder has is muted and becomes a factor in a big collection of factors determining the outcome on the field and on your fantasy team. we are, as a society, flirting with moving the line. when sports please become a happy home for gamblers, invest in gambling sites and insist that the build-in protections are enough. you know the joke that ends on the internet - no one knows you are a dog. game the site, no one knows if you are a problem gambler or a kid. i suspect someone somewhere is trying to figure out how to cheat. we'll adjust when they do. until then, play ball. i'm ray suarez, and that's "inside story".
12:00 am
turkey accuses russia of violating its air space for a second time. n.a.t.o. calls moscow irresponsible welcome to al jazeera live from the headquarters in doha. coming up in the next half hour, israel meets to discuss security measures as tensions continue over access to the holy sites. >> 12 reach agreement on the biggest trade deal after years of difficult negotiations